Today, I’d like to share some practical steps and tips about how to create a successful online business.
The internet is here to stay. You can either sit on the sidelines and just enjoy the internet for your own personal use, or you can leverage this marvelous piece of technology and create a successful online business of your own!
The internet has created a true level playing field. It doesn’t matter what country you live in, what your education level is, how old you are, or what your background is, you can make money online. There are literally hundreds of different business models to choose from.
Eight Steps to Create a Successful Online Business
What I want to do in the rest of this article is share my best tips to create a successful online business. Please know that this applies to any type of online business. If you follow these eight steps, you will be well on your way. Let’s get started.
Step # 1: Brainstorm Ideas
Your first step to create a successful online business is to brainstorm potential business ideas. Some of the common business models include paid surveys, eBay, affiliate marketing, network marketing, blogging, membership sites, virtual assistant, freelancers, and more. If you have an idea that is a different business model, that’s fine too. I suggest you take your time and make a list of at least 10 potential ideas that interest you. Rank your ideas by how much you think you would enjoy them and what type of potential they offer.
Start your business brainstorming by getting your creativity flowing. To inspire yourself, take in as much information as you can about small business, business in general and business trends. If you have a specific industry in mind, immerse yourself in information about that industry, too.
Step # 2: Evaluate the Competition
Once you’ve found an idea that interests you, you need to evaluate your competitors. Who are they? What do you like about their business? What could you do differently to stand out in the crowd? I recommend you study the top 10 competitors in whatever niche or business model you like most to determine (1) if you can compete with them, (2) if you can spin one of their ideas to take a different approach, and (3) to see what they are doing right and wrong. You should spend several days studying your competition, to figure out what you need to do differently to succeed. This will save you lots of time and money in the long run.
Competitive research or competitive intelligence is a field of strategic research that specializes in the collection and analysis of information about rival firms. It’s an essential tactic for finding out what your competitors are doing and what kind of threat they present to your financial well-being.
Step # 3: Choose Best Idea
Once you do your research and evaluate your competition, I recommend you choose the best idea. It helps if you can find something you are really passionate about. But that’s not a requirement. If your favorite idea proves unworthy, stick with the best idea. You want a business idea that makes sense, is doable, interests you, and offers plenty of opportunity to make money.
The sustainability of a business idea depends on many factors, including its demand and supply. If your product/service acts as a never-heard solution, or offers something better than existing solutions, it will certainly go a long way. Test the water before you take your first big step in the business world to prevent future failure. Check how scalable your product/service is and determine if people would pay for it. All these factors will collectively determine whether or not a business idea can yield expected returns.
Step # 4: Develop a Business Plan and Marketing Plan
This is where most entrepreneurs fail. Most people who start an online business never take the time to develop a written business plan and marketing plan for their new venture. You need to do this. Remember that failing to plan is planning to fail. You need to determine (1) your ideal customer, (2) who your competition is, (3) what your unique selling proposition is, (4) how you will make money, and (5) how you will find customers. You should also make a list of critical tasks you must do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Your business plan is vital to your success, and for more than one reason. First, it provides a strong foundation from which to move forward without losing momentum by wondering what to do next. Second, a well-written business plan is required when presenting your business to potential investors.
Step # 5: Determine the Capital Requirements
Once you have a written business plan, you must determine your capital requirements. If it is a large project and requires additional funding, you can seek out partners and investors. Another idea is to start small, while you keep your day job. If possible, I recommend you avoid going into debt to build your new online business. To determine how much money you will need, make a list of everything you can think of. This includes domain name, website hosting, website design, consulting, etc. When you come up with a total amount, triple it to be safe.
To increase your chances of success, you need to create an online business that has low starting capital requirements and high demand.
Step # 6: Find a Mentor
Now that you have a written business plan and know how much money you need to invest to get started, your next step is to find a mentor. Try to find someone who has already achieved success with what you want to do. Give them a call or email them. Offer to take them out to lunch. Pick their brain. While some people might not be willing to share their success story or ideas with you, others will. If you can’t find a mentor in the same area of expertise, find someone who has done something similar, and pick their brain.
Mentors are someone you can ask for advice occasionally, and they will respond. You want someone that’s very high level that is where you want to be in a few years time. They’ll give you insider knowledge for strategy and planning.
Source: Eventual Millionaire
Step # 7: Get Started
Your next step to creating an online business is to get started. I recommend you start small. Once again, keep your day job if possible. Follow your list of critical tasks in order. Realize that 10% of the work you do produces 90% of the results. Focus on the first things first. Get started today, but think long-term. Do something to grow your business every single day. Don’t expect instant success. Most businesses take a year or two to get profitable, and several years to make a nice income.
Just do it: Complete the daily actions, and then do something extra to accelerate your success plan. If you approach your plan and get butterflies in your stomach, either get over it or substitute an action that you’re comfortable with so you stay on course. Don’t let unplanned tasks waste precious time that should be applied toward reaching your goal. And most of all-enjoy the process!
Step # 8: Evaluate Your Progress and Make Small Adjustments
Each month, spend a few hours evaluating your progress. Make a spreadsheet to track your key performance indicators. Compare your progress from month to month. Make necessary changes as required. If you get stuck in a rut, seek help. If you have a monthly spreadsheet, you won’t get frustrated as much, because you can see your progress each month. This will help keep you on track. Within six to twelve months you will find out if your good idea is really a good idea after all.
A good starting point for your review is to evaluate what you actually do – your core activities, the products that you make, or services that you provide. Ask yourself what makes them successful, how they could be improved and whether you could launch new or complementary products or services.
Source: Info Entrepreneurs
In conclusion, creating an online business is similar to creating a traditional business. Your key to success is to do your homework, before you start the business. Make sure you come up with a winning idea and develop a business and marketing plan to implement that idea. Try to avoid going into debt, if possible.
Next, find a mentor to help coach you and guide you. Finally, track your progress from month to month and think long-term. If you can follow the advice listed above, I 100% believe you will create a successful online business.
What are your thoughts on this subject? Leave a comment below to let us know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.